BA Controls IT Financial Management with USU

IT budgeting, cost/activity accounting and costing
Bundesagentur für Arbeit

Service requirements on the rise

The German Federal Employment Agency (BA) operates one of the largest IT system landscapes in Germany, with 160,000 networked PC workstations, 9,000 servers and a processing volume of, for instance, 39 million emails and 16 million bank transfers every month. Given this level of complexity, reliable provision of IT services is an ongoing challenge. BA Information Technology comprises IT management at BA’s head-quarters, the IT system house and regional IT support. With around 2,300 employees, it provides the technology and support required to carry out the operative business. For the strategic management and further development of its IT, the agency needs an integrated standard solution for its financial IT planning, IT budgeting, IT forecasting, medium-term IT planning, IT cost and performance accounting and the calculation of IT billing costs. After a Europe-wide call for tenders, BA opted for USU and its software USU IT Service Management to realize these requirements.

At a glance

Company

German Federal Employment Agency (BA Information Technology)

Industry

Public sector

Key figures

160,000 networked PC workstations, 11,000 self- service information terminals, 120 in-house IT processes, 9,000 servers (of which 7,000 are virtual)

Solution

  • USU IT Service Management

About the Project with German Federal Employment Agency

Challenges

The heterogeneous, complex IT environment should be standardized with the introduction of an integrated overall solution for IT budgeting, IT cost and service invoicing and IT calculation. Both quick access to a central stock of data with up-to-date, consolidated IT financial data and end-to-end process support for determining, administering and managing the IT budget and expenditure are required. A basis on which to implement further standardized, ITIL®-compliant operating processes should also be created.

Why USU?

USU was chosen following a Europe-wide tendering process. As revealed by an assessment of an extensive performance specification, USU’s ITIL®-compliant software USU IT Service Management meets all the functional requirements. USU offers an integrated overall solution with a standardized data basis and good customer references.

Project milestones

  • Project kick-off for definition of expenditures and responsibilities
  • Individual workshops to define the various thematic concepts, followed by merging of these concepts
  • Step-by-step development, prototyping and implementation of the ITSM modules for the following processes: IT budgeting, IT cost and performance accounting and IT costing

Benefits

  • Timely identification of control requirements through high level of transparency for all those involved in the budgeting process
  • Up-to-the-minute availability of relevant data for budgeting and high-quality financial information thanks to the planning of expenditures as well as for forecasts and medium-term planning
  • FINMAN is a key component of the IT management system through its central, consistent and uniform data basis
  • Greater transparency thanks to centralized IT financial management using a central system
  • Less time and effort involved thanks to tool-based work processes

Mastering complex challenges together

BA’s financial management project (FINMAN) kicked off by determining the objectives, approach and necessary framework data. The sub-projects – IT budgeting, IT cost and performance accounting and IT costing – were defined and responsibilities assigned. Working groups within the project team developed specifications for the individual modules. These were then taken by the USU experts and integrated to create an overall system solution. Analyzing the complex data and workflows involved in defining, managing and controlling the IT budgets and expenditures was a challenging task, as was the step-by-step adaptation of the software to the identified requirements. Prototypes were integrated into the development environment at an early stage for testing purposes, with errors documented in a ticket system and then corrected. From the development stage onwards, the excellent cooperation between BA and USU proved invaluable, ensuring that software quality could be precisely evaluated even as early as in the pre-integration phase.

Implementation work was supplemented by extensive training courses for various user groups. FINMAN is continuously developed further in live operation, for instance with regard to the creation of new interfaces as well as new catalogs and reports, so that those involved in the budgeting process always receive information that is sufficient and focused. Moreover, the workflow for the budgeting process was improved on the basis of practical experience, and central organizational budgeting criteria were synchronized with IT cost and performance accounting.

High degree of transparency and efficiency in IT financial management

The FINMAN solution based on USU IT Service Management offers all the involved BA offices – from those responsible for partial budgets, to the coordinating offices, to top management – a high degree of transparency in IT financial management. Data relevant to budgeting and the planning of expenditures as well as for forecasts and medium- term planning is always up to date and can be made available for evaluations at any time. Deviations and any control requirements are thus identified quickly and the corresponding measures can be initiated promptly. As a central, uniform data basis, FINMAN brings together and provides data from a variety of IT finance disciplines and different data sources. For instance, IT cost and performance accounting data is generated on the basis of budgeting. This ensures a high data quality. In addition, end-to-end tool support in the work processes has significantly reduced the cost and effort required to date.